Netanyahu Declares Case Against Him ‘Dead’ as Prosecutors Forced to Revise Indictment

Former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu arrives for a court hearing in his trial, at the District Court in Yerushalayim, last week. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has declared the main criminal case against him “dead,” after state prosecutors were forced to alter the charge sheet, Israeli media reported.

The state’s witness in the trial, former Communications Ministry Director-General Shlomo Filber, was cross-examined by Netanyahu’s attorneys last week.

Prosecutors have charged that Netanyahu entered into “bribery relations” with businessman and former owner of the Bezeq telecoms giant Shaul Elovitch. According to the charges, Netanyahu allegedly sent instructions to Filber to promote Elovich’s business-financial interests, and Elovich in return allegedly promoted positive media coverage of Netanyahu at Walla News, which was owned by Bezeq at that time.

Netanyahu denies all the charges.

During the cross-examination, his attorneys were able to prove that a meeting between Filber and Netanyahu — the meeting during which, the prosecution claimed, Filber was instructed by Netanyahu to assist Elovitch — had never taken place.

Judges then instructed state prosecutors to amend the charges to reflect the fact that no such meeting occurred, Maariv reported.

“Case 4000 is dead. The court proved today that no instruction was given to Filber to help Elovitch, or to promote the merger of Bezeq and Yes [a merger that prosecutors claimed was promoted by Netanyahu and Filber to assist Elovich],” Netanyahu stated.

Netanyahu has been indicted in three separate cases on charges including breach of trust, accepting bribes and fraud. Case 4000 is considered to be the most serious of the three.

The report noted that this was the third time the prosecution had had to amend the charge sheet against Netanyahu.

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